What can I do about climate change?
Content manager, botanist and tree lover
Climate change is a scary thing. It has been predicted that in 10 years’ time, the damage that human activities have inflicted on the planet’s climate will be irreversible. If nothing is done, our world will be unrecognisable.
Knowing all this, and seeing the real-time effects of a changing climate, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless. But there are plenty of ways to do your bit for the planet. Here are our top suggestions for reducing your impact on the planet, and ways to fight back.
Things you can do about climate change
Trees are the key in the fight against climate change. They take in and store carbon that would otherwise remain in the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas. The more trees the better and we need to plant millions to start making an impact.
Every tree counts - so why not start in your garden? Plant a native tree and help us get 50 million trees in the ground.
If you don't have a garden, you could contact your local council about planting in public spaces or get involved in one of our tree planting events at one of our sites.
Buy locally sourced food
What we eat has more of an impact than you might think. A simple choice between a product that’s in season and has been grown nearby, and one that is out of season and grown abroad, can make a huge difference. By buying local and in season you are not relying on the transport of the product.
Some products have more of an impact than others: according to Greenpeace “The livestock sector – raising cows, pigs and chickens – generates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all cars, trucks and automobiles combined”. Reducing or removing meat from your diet, and buying locally sourced meat if you have any, can be a positive step towards reducing your carbon footprint.
You can extend your greener shopping to your garden too. Peatland is actually a more effective carbon storing habitat than mature woodland, so by avoiding peat-based compost which is taken from peatland (and maybe making your own with food scraps) you’ll be helping to protect carbon-fighting landscapes.
Reduce your single-use plastics
This one you’ll know by now, but it really is a simple step! Reusable water bottles and coffee cups are easy to find nowadays, and can even get you a discount at some cafes.
Why not try:
- Keeping an extra bag on you to avoid plastic bags
- Choosing fizzy drinks in glass bottles rather than plastic ones
- Bringing a reusable container for your takeaway
- Switching out plastic washing up sponges with alternatives like coconut husks
Credit: Philip Formby / WTML
Campaign to protect existing habitats
Our existing woods and trees do an excellent job of locking-up the carbon we produce. It’s vital that we protect what we already have, as well as add to it.
Find out how you can get involved.
Use public transport and avoid air travel
This isn’t always easy if you live in a remote place, but if you live in a town or city be sure to make the most of public transport. Many bus companies are even investing in electric vehicles which reduce local air pollution levels.
Air travel produces much more carbon than terrestrial vehicles, so reducing the number of flights you take is a great step. Staycations, ferries and international trains are all great alternatives.
Reduce your energy consumption
It can be as simple as keeping the lights off when you’re not in a room and turning appliances off at the wall when you’re not using them. Reducing the energy you use is getting easier with more energy-efficient housing and appliances, as well as smart-meters and programmable thermostats. The added benefit to saving the planet is saving plenty on your bills!
Some energy companies even offer 100% green energy. Why not switch over?
Balance your personal carbon
However much we try, we can’t avoid producing carbon. But we can all take action to mitigate our impact on the environment. The woodlands we look after, plant and protect all lock up tonnes of carbon every year. And you can help us do more.
Our message is clear: native woods and trees are one of the best ways to tackle the climate crisis. Explore the facts and find out what you can do to help.
Trees woods and wildlife
How trees fight climate change
Trees are one of the best natural climate change solutions. Find out how they lock up carbon and how many the UK needs to reach carbon net zero by 2050.
How to calculate and reduce your carbon footprint
What are the effects of global warming in the UK? And how can we make a difference?
Trees woods and wildlife
Can woods and trees reduce flooding?
Trees and woods play a vital role in reducing flooding by slowing down the flow of rainwater, absorbing rainwater, and reducing erosion.
Trees woods and wildlife
Tackling air pollution with trees
Air pollution can have a serious impact on our health, global climate and biodiversity, but trees can help.
Plant more trees
We're on a mission to grow millions of healthy, native trees across the UK to help protect us from the effects of climate change.